If you're just tuning in to the hot seat watch, we've designated six NFL head coaches as being on the hot seat this season. That means their job is in danger if they don't win or change something dramatically with their team's situation. They include:
For last week's watch, go here. Below, we talk about how this past week went and what to expect going forward, but first, we have some new entries for the watch:
We've talked briefly about possible new entries onto the list, but it was my belief that we had to get through at least four weeks of the season to gauge whether or not a coach should be added. It's hard to find your way to the hot seat after just a couple games.
But four games into the season seems like a good time to add some names to the list. There are multiple winless teams and multiple teams with a single win to their name. But there are two teams that have been particularly bad this season: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, helmed by Greg Schiano, and the Minnesota Vikings, led by Leslie Frazier.
Now, Frazier's team actually has a win, while there are guys like Tom Coughlin and Mike Tomlin who are in charge of winless teams, but both of them seem to have a little more leeway, so they avoid the list for now.
Schiano's Bucs are 0-4, are now starting a rookie third-round pick at quarterback, and have looked ... helpless this season. More than that, Schiano seems to have more locker room controversy than any head coach in the league presently. His team doesn't seem to back him 100 percent and after this season, his higher-ups may not either.
Frazier may have picked up a win in his last outing, but he's quickly lost a grip on the Vikings. They're a mess right now. Frazier's job was in question last season before he led the Vikings to a surprise appearance in the playoffs, but the goodwill there is low. He's not likely to get fired mid-season, but he probably needs at least a .500 season to keep his job.
After Week 4
While four games in seems like a good time to add teams to the hot seat, I don't think four games is enough to remove a team from said hot seat. It's much harder to get yourself out of the hot seat than it is to put yourself into it. So despite some of the coaches we've established as being on the hot seat winning and actually looking like good teams, we're going to continue covering them. A winning record when the season is done is what is usually required.
Losers: Schiano, Ryan, Allen, Garrett
Mike Glennon is the start in place of Josh Freeman for Tampa Bay. Glennon, a rookie, played well until the third quarter. He almost led the Bucs to their first win of the season, but two costly interceptions -- one when the Buccaneers were winning -- cost them the game, and Schiano his first win. Losses to New Orleans and New England didn't seem so bad, but losses to the Jets and the Cardinals means Schiano is on thin ice.
Ryan saw his Jets dominated from beginning to end by the Titans, and they are now back at .500. The brief stint of winning was nice, but things only get tougher from here for the Jets, as they have the Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals and New Orleans Saints in three of their next four games.
The Raiders had a solid opportunity to get a win over the then-winless Washington Redskins but Matt Flynn was in for Terrelle Pryor at quarterback and he failed to impress. Allen gets a pass because he didn't have his QB in there -- not that his QB inspires much confidence anyway. Garrett's Cowboys had a lead heading into halftime, but gave up 17 points in the second half to fall to the San Diego Chargers.
Winners: Schwartz, Frazier, Munchak
The Lions have the biggest win of this week. They took on the undefeated NFC North rival Chicago Bears and they won in a big way. Putting up 27 points in the second quarter is a good way to win football games ... Schwartz should try that more often. It's good to bet on Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson in a shootout, even if it was Reggie Bush who really shone.
Frazier's Vikings have been one of the worst teams in the league this year. Christian Ponder is not playing well and the defense cannot seem to stop anybody. But they took on an even worse team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. Minnesota won that game, 34-27, holding off a late Pittsburgh comeback. The next couple weeks will be very important for Minnesota, given that there are winnable games against Carolina and New York on the schedule. We already talked about Munchak's win over the Jets.
Bye week: Rivera
Schwartz and his Lions are taking on a 1-2 team on Sunday, but that 1-2 team happens to be the Green Bay Packers. Aaron Rodgers is going to make life tough for the Detroit defense, and asking Stafford to keep up with him is rough. Munchak and his 3-1 Titans will take on the 4-0 Kansas City Chiefs. That one might be the most intriguing game of the bunch given how the Chiefs have played lately. Can they really go 5-0, or will Munchak break their streak?
Rivera returns from a bye week as the Panthers face the Cardinals in Arizona. Carolina should be favored to win that one and make it to .500 on the season, but Rivera's team has been falling short of expectations all season. The Cowboys will have a very tough outing as they face Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos ... so Garrett's team is expected to fall to 2-3 on the season.
Allen's Raiders will take on the San Diego Chargers in an AFC West rivalry matchup, and at home as well. That will be a late game due to conflicts with MLB. Terrelle Pryor will be back as the starter for that one, so it will be interesting to see if that helps. And Ryan's Jets will take on the Atlanta Falcons in prime time on Monday Night Football. The Jets have a better record than Atlanta but it's hard to see them winning, regardless.
Both of our new entries, the Vikings with Frazier and the Bucs with Schiano, will have bye weeks this week.